The 2015 Cleveland Half Marathon

May 22, 2015

Our alarms went off way too early on Sunday morning – 4:30am! Neither Emily or I slept well – not even a little bit – so getting up was actually a lot easier than I expected it to be. We had parking passes from one of Emily’s friends, but the caveat was we had to be in the garage by 6am – a full hour before the race actually started. We got downtown with plenty of time to spare, so we waited in the car for a few minutes and then headed to the start.

Cleveland Half Marathon

The start and finish were in different spots, with the start over by the Quicken Loans Arena. There were about a million port-o-potties right out front and little to no lines. Score! I literally used one before anyone else did – it was like a race day miracle!

Cleveland Half Marathon

We went to our corral and stood waiting for the gun to go off. Right about 10 minutes before we crossed the start line, it started raining some pretty cold rain. Luckily, it didn’t last for all too long. The clouds cleared up and we were on our way.

Cleveland Half Marathon_3

Like I mentioned in my race expo post, this half marathon was Emily’s very first one. We signed up well before Thanksgiving for the race, so Emily had a great amount of time to train. I made her a 14 week training plan and she followed it to a T! She was definitely ready for this race.

With the rain came a very muggy day, especially for Cleveland. The first few miles were still pretty cool, but the day was quickly warming up. We had some pretty good cloud cover for a pretty good portion, but every time the sun came, it got hot pretty darn fast. I’m used to the heat due to our toasty Florida days, but for the runners from Ohio, they had a huge temperature swing. They had days in the 40’s and 50’s just a few days prior, so I was definitely feeling for them, my sister included!

The course kept us on the westside of the city through some really neat neighborhoods – Tremont, Ohio City, and Lakewood to name a few.

Cleveland Half Marathon Course Map

The houses were pretty neat to look at and there were some great supporters out as well.

Cleveland Half Marathon 3

The first 10 miles of the course were pretty flat. We really just cruised through about mile 8. This was when it really started to get hot for Em. When I asked her thoughts about slowly starting to pick it up, I got a look that I immediately knew was not in favor of a faster pace. We kept running at our same pace with a handful of walk breaks here and there. The humidity was making it hard for Em to get deep breaths, so the walk breaks were a perfect time to get oxygen back in her lungs.

Cleveland Half Marathon Emily

The last 2-3 miles were definitely the toughest on the course. It was on the shoreway, a road that runs next to Lake Erie, which meant no cover from the elements. It was hot and humid, and there we actually multiple hills.

Cleveland Half Marathon

We really had to focus on climbing the hills and then using our momentum coming down to make up for some of the extra time. We grabbed plenty of fluids to refuel and just made our way closer and closer to the finish.

Cleveland Skyline

I’d say the best part of the course was the finish. We came off of the shoreway on a nice downhill, which led us right into downtown. We ran down what I’m pretty sure was Lakeside Avenue and the street was lined with people down the finisher’s chute. It really was a fun moment! Emily and I ran the whole race and finished in 2:01:09. She killed it!

Cleveland Half Marathon Finish

Running has always been such a huge part of my life. It was such an amazing privilege to be able to experience Emily’s first half marathon with her. It seemed like she really enjoyed it and we are even talking about doing more races together! Maybe she’s hooked!

As for the Cleveland Half Marathon – I definitely recommend it. The logistics were great and I loved the course and the amenities. I would love to cross the Cleveland full marathon off my list on a couple of years too. We shall see!

The Cleveland Half Marathon Race Expo

May 21, 2015

This past weekend, I headed up to Cleveland to hang with my sister and run her very first half marathon by her side! Of course, before the big race, we headed to the race expo!

The expo was at the new Cleveland Convention Center in downtown. It was a huge facility and was extremely accessible. The parking garage was right next to the building, so parking was a breeze. We headed inside, following a few little shoes to find our way.

Cleveland Half Marathon Expo_1

The race weekend consisted of 4 different races – a 5k on Saturday, then a 10k, half marathon and full marathon on Sunday. All of the races were side by side at packet pickup, so it was pretty easy to find what we needed. We grabbed our bib numbers and then head into the actual expo.

Cleveland Half Marathon Expo_2

The expo was actually significantly larger than I thought it would be. There were a ton of vendors, as well as a large selection of official race merchandise. Nike is one of the big sponsors, so you know the gear was good! They had a variety of tanks and shirts to choose from. The only downfall was they were pretty pricy!

Cleveland Half Marathon Expo_3

Cleveland Half Marathon Expo_4

I passed on the tanks but Emily bought one to signify her first big race!

Cleveland Half Marathon Expo_5

We did a quick loop around the expo hall and saw every vendor from Fipbelt to Newton to American Greetings! American Greetings’ corporate headquarters is located in Cleveland so they were taking photos and texting immediately after with our choice of a background. Of course, we opted for the skyline!

Cleveland Half Marathon Expo_8

Brooks was also in attendance and brought their Run Happy Island, so we had to enter our info and see if we won anything fun! I ended up with a t-shirt and Em ended up with a pair of sunglasses.

Cleveland Half Marathon Expo_6

We pretty much headed out after hitting up the Brooks booth – we had a day of relaxation ahead of us and would be up awfully early for the big race on Sunday!

Cleveland Half Marathon Expo_6

Mother’s Day 2015 in Pictures

May 11, 2015
Mother's Day 2015 beach trip_4

I was spoiled by my boys yesterday with lots of family time and snuggles. Here’s our beach day in pictures :)

Mother's Day 2015 beach trip_1


Mother's Day 2015 beach trip_7


Mother's Day 2015 beach trip_2


Mother's Day 2015 beach trip_3


Mother's Day 2015 beach trip_4


Mother's Day 2015 beach trip_5


Mother's Day 2015 beach trip_6


Mother's Day 2015 beach trip_8



Get Fit, Don’t Sit!

May 6, 2015

It’s National Get Fit – Don’t Sit Day!

Get Fit Day

It seems like there is a recognition day for just about everything – donut lovers, pet enthusiasts – you name it, and there is probably a day for it. I can definitely get behind this day though. Close to 30 million people have diabetes, many of which could be eliminated with regular exercise and a healthy diet (Source). It can be as simple as going for a 15 minute walk in the morning, a 15 minute walk at lunch, and one last 15 minute walk after dinner to get in a solid 45 minutes of movement each day. The average person watches 5 hours of television a day (what??). Imagine taking just 30-60 minutes of that time to get moving, even if it’s just a little bit!?

Here are a few of my favorite exercises I’ve posted in the past couple of years that can be done at home in 30-60 minutes. Get Fit, Don’t Sit!

Rock Your Bottom Circuit Workout

Wobbly Leg Workout

Lucky Day Workout

Jump around the track workout

Body weight workout

Grant’s First UCF Trip

May 5, 2015

This past weekend, we took Grant to Orlando to hang with some friends and just have a weekend away. We are taking a summer trip with a pretty decent car ride, so we figured we should probably get Grant used to being in the car a little more than normal, as he had only taken 30 minute trips prior to our jaunt to Orlando. Luckily, he did great! He was awake just chatting the whole way there, and slept for almost the whole way home.

We took advantage of being in Orlando to show Grant our old stomping grounds over at UCF, where Marcus and I both went to college. There is a large fountain on campus, called the Reflection Pond, and I knew Grant would love seeing the water and all the people. It was graduation weekend, so there was a lot going on.

Grant & Marcus Reflection Pond


Grant Mary UCF


Grant Marcus UCF


Grant Mary UCF

After our stroll around campus and obligatory bookstore stop, we spent some much needed time playing in our friend’s pool with all of our kiddos. They were so gracious to host us and we had a blast!

Grant Marcus pool


Grant Pool


Grant Pool

Our mini road trip was a great success and I’m thrilled Grant was able to bop around at UCF a bit. Go Knights!